For the first time in 21 years, Poatina will not be holding their annual Australia Day celebrations on January 26.
Event organiser Mike Clearey said the decision to move the event to January 27 was made in the “spirit of inclusiveness” following months of discussions.
“We have monthly community meetings and it is something we started discussing mid last year,” he said.
“Poatina is a small community and we always want our Australia Day celebrations to be an open and inclusive event.
“Since 1996 we have been holding community festivals on Australia Day.
“By holding the event on January 27, we hope it will be more palatable for Indigenous members of our community.”
Further North, the Flinders Island Council have been holding its Australia Day celebrations an entire week before the national date since 2014.
The three-day Furneaux Islands Festival at Whitemark started as a council initiative and grew to become the areas official Australia Day event, held from January 19 to 21.
Flinders community development officer, Dolly Wheatley, said the decision to change the date was made in the best interest for the community.
“Five years ago, Flinders Island decided not to celebrate Australia Day,” she said.
“Now the weekend before, we do something for the whole community.
“There's quite a lot of talk about changing the date of Australia Day.
“We've done it for our community and we've worked hard to make it an inclusive event for everyone.
“The most important message is that it's working for our community.”
Northern Midlands mayor David Downie said the council supported Poatina’s decision to change the date of their Australia Day celebrations, but it wasn’t a council-organised event.
“It is completely their decision and we will respect that,” he said.
“What they do in that town, year after year on Australia Day, is absolutely incredible.
“To have, what I would say is a 95 per cent participation of everyone – no other community in Australia would have that level of commitment to their Australia Day celebrations.
“I would encourage everyone to go to Poatina to experience what is a wonderful event.”
The Poatina Aussies Together celebration will be held from 11am to 3pm.